The City of Phoenix Aviation Department, operators of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), this week launched an Airport Worker Child Care Scholarship Program to promote an added benefit for workers in the aviation industry and to help with recruiting and retaining worker at the airport.

The program, funded with a $4 million investment by the Phoenix City Council, will support frontline airport workers who help facilitate the essential travel operations of PHX.  Scholarships are available to Phoenix Sky Harbor badged workers who meet certain income criteria, including aviation department employees, airline employees, concessions workers, and contractors.

To manage the program, the aviation department has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with First Things First (FTF), a statewide organization tasked with expanding early education and family support programs for children from birth to 5-years-old. The PHX program will use the established framework of FTF’s Quality First scholarship program and childcare quality improvement and rating system.

“As an industry we have to showcase the value of an aviation career for every job in our organization,” said Chad Makovsky, PHX director of aviation services. “Particularly as we see passenger traffic rebounding from the pandemic, this scholarship program is a key means to ensure that we’re ready to meet the challenges of not just the moment, but the future.”

The scholarship program makes PHX one of few airports in the country offering this kind of benefit to not just city employees, but to any eligible badged worker. The program is also supported through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.